People Kill People-and It Has to Stop

A+%22no+guns+allowed%22+sticker%2C+one+of+the+many+on+campus%2C+is+displayed+on+the+doors+of+Lech+Walesa+Hall.+

Photo by Mary Kroeck

A “no guns allowed” sticker, one of the many on campus, is displayed on the doors of Lech Walesa Hall.

Back in 2014, in response to another school shooting, The Onion published an article titled, “‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.” Of course, the article is meant to be taken with a grain of salt, as most articles in The Onion are. However, it makes a statement that shouldn’t be ignored.

More than 40 school shootings have occurred this year alone. Everytownresearch.org reports that since 2013 more than 150 school shootings have taken place – a pace of nearly one a week. Earlier this month, the Chicago Tribune reported this week that in Chicago alone, from Jan. 1, 2015 through Oct. 13, 2015, 2,410 people were victims of gun violence in the city.

Gun advocates tout, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” To further their message, almost immediately after the shootings some gun advocates were not sympathizing with the victims. Rather, they took to social media claiming that the reason these shootings happened was people and schools with no gun policies are easy targets.

 

In an interview with CNN, Art Roderick, the former Assistant Director, U.S. Marshals Service, gave this theory support. “[The shooter] probably knew that the facility was a gun free facility, an easy target for these type of coward individuals,” said Roderick of the Oct. 1 shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. “They know they’re not going to get any response unless they happen to run into security or a campus police officer.”

However, in June Armedwithreason.com sited a study from Mother Jones, which found that in 62 mass shootings over 32 years, there were “zero instances of a killer targeting a place because of a gun ban.” Furthermore, the article pointed to data from Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which showed that “in all 56 mass shootings between 2009 and 2013, ‘no more than one quarter of the shootings occurred in public spaces that were so-called ‘gun-free zones.’…. Instead data clearly show that a killer’s motives are reliably tethered to the source of their grievances.”

On Oct. 2 Bloomberg reported, “Americans own more guns than anybody else on earth.”

When school shootings happen and they no longer come as a shock or outrage – that says a lot about our country. We can’t fight violence with violence anymore. That’s not working. So, why not try fighting it with tougher gun control? The NRA has fought this for decades – and won – but at what cost? This really is the only nation where mass shootings happen regularly.

I am a believer in the Constitution of the United States. However, I firmly believe that when the Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment, they didn’t think someone would open fire on kids sitting outside or playing in the street, in a school, or on the random person caught between gang crossfire. Keep in mind, when the second amendment was written, the concept of a drive-by could not have been anywhere in mind. Cars didn’t exist then. Therefore, I believe gun-free zones don’t kill people. People kill people – and it’s got to stop.